Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
February 2015 Vol. 4(2), pp. 071-077
Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
The Mystical Power of Saliva in the Middle East and Islamic Cultures
Professor Aref Abu-Rabia
Anthropology and Public Health, Fulbright Scholar for the Muslim World- 2007.
Accepted 25 November, 2014
Traditional Arabic medicine had been influenced by many ancient cultures and civilizations. Contact between Arab civilization and other civilizations included commerce and trade, political, military, religious activities, literacy, health and hygiene issues, as well as medical practices. At the same time, the Arab medical system also grew out of the work of physicians who were contemporaries of the Prophet Muhammad (571-632 AD). The sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad on health and illness were systemized and became known as Medicine of the Prophet (al-Tibb al-Nabawi). The main purpose of this paper is to explore the mystical power of saliva in the context of beliefs and customs in Middle Eastern culture and to describe its therapeutic powers in sacred as well as secular situations, in peace, war, and judicial circumstances. This paper is based on a review of published and unpublished archival and documentary materials as well as interviews with traditional healers and patients. Unstructured interviews and the observation of participants were carried out in the informants' homes (men and women), as well as in the homes of traditional healers (men and women). Most of the healers were in the age range of forty to eighty years old. All the informants were married and over thirty years old. All the material was recorded in field logs, and some was tape-recorded.
Keywords: Saliva; Arabic medicine; Islamic medicine.